EdPam: No snag in peace talks
ANGELES CITY — City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan said that there are no snags in the peace talks and the second round of the negotiation between the Philippine government (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) went very well.
“There were some debates and disagreements on issues but that is understandable. At the end of the day, the unity on major points far outweighed the few debates,” said Pamintuan, who is also the League of Cities of the Philippines president and adviser of the GRP peace panel.
“This is a peace negotiation that aims to end a 50-year armed conflict in the Philippine countryside and not just a simple meeting. Naturally there will be issues that need to be threshed-out and agreed upon. We cannot expect smooth sailing all the way,” Pamintuan said.
It was reported in a national broadsheet that the negotiation “hit a snag” on the social and economic reforms component.
“From my point of view, there was no snag at all. The Reciprocal Working Committee on Social and Economic Reforms met for the first time after years in hiatus. There were some discussions on how to proceed but the RWC-SER members continued with the meetings and came up with major agreements,” Pamintuan noted.
The Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) also had its session and agreed on major issues. The JMC will continue working and exchanging notes during the next several weeks even while the panels from both sides are not in session.
Aside from the RWC-SER and the JMC, the Sub-Committee on Ceasefire and the RWC on Political and Constitutional Reforms also held successful meetings.
“The GRP peace panel is very much committed to the acceleration of the peace negotiation. I believe that the NDFP is equally committed,” Pamintuan said.
The peace panels from both sides agreed to come up with a Joint Communiqué or Statement on the results of the second round of the negotiation as well as the schedule and venue of the third round of talks.